Spirituality and Technology

My latest blog for Charis Ministries. Here’s the link.

Daily Prayer, Jesuits of Australia by Elizabeth Morales

Daily Prayer
Jesuits of Australia

Recently, my roommate and I discussed how technology is a major source of stress in our society. I might have to agree. Updating Facebook and Twitter statuses, Googling everything and so many more options on just my cell phone are part of daily life. I carry my cell phone close to my body in my purse or pocket. It is basically my favorite toy. As it buzzes, though, I sometimes think I live in a world of constant interruptions.

I have been asked to get off my cell phone by loved ones and strangers. I have asked others to do the same. But it is not just cell phones. We have other forms of technology that keep us away from what is happening around us. So the question is: can technology and spirituality work together?

Charis Ministries asked me to use Daily Prayer Online, Gospel reflections from the Jesuits of Australia for one week and take note of my experience. I hesitated to add anything else to my already full schedule, especially if it asked me to be on my cell phone or computer any longer than I already am. After checking out the website on my phone that night and seeing how short it was, I was relieved.

I typically navigated through the website on my cell phone at night when the idea of visiting anything complex was furthest away from my mind, so a basic website was like heaven. I clicked on the specific date at the bottom of the page, and the reflection was there. Throughout the week, I enjoyed the reflections because they were concise and written in a simplistic style of writing. I cannot emphasize concise enough, because I am not looking for extra reading material.

What I found most helpful was each reflection gave a clear idea of the daily Scripture from Mass, which is an important part of my spirituality. The reflections mentioned the readings and were straightforward, not too heavy or philosophical. I found them applicable to my everyday life with realistic ways of working on my relationship with God, others and myself.

The whole idea of technology and spirituality seemed to come to fruition. Using technology to serve spirituality was a good thing to try to do. The reflections gave me joy and helped me reflect, ponder and meditate. They were very short, easy to read, biblical, prayerful and thought-provoking. Although my phone and technology sometimes stress me out, I would definitely consider using these online reflections in the future to help with my spiritual life.

Reflection by: Elizabeth Morales

Sarah Harkins

August 1, 2014 was Sarah Harkins’ funeral. Please keep her family and loved ones in your prayers. I didn’t know her. She graduated from Franciscan before I transferred in. I read her business website where she made clay rosaries with such unique, thoughtful and meaningful designs. Her rosary website links to her blog. Her last blog was on her newest rosary bead of an anchor, which represented hope. I thought it was symbolic that her last published blog and rosary bead would be on hope. I am praying for her husband and children and loved ones to have hope, faith and love. She was in the Handmaids of The Lord household and her husband in the Brothers of the Eternal Song household (our university didn’t have frats/sororities, we had households with spiritual charisms). The Handmaids charism is Mary’s words at the Annunciation also known as the fiat, “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” Lk 1:38. I lived in Marian Hall on campus where many Handmaids of The Lord lived. Every single one of them are amazing, holy women of God. I believe she is in Heaven. August 2 would have been her 33rd birthday. Dear Sarah and Cecilia, please pray for us as we pray for you.

Patient Trust

My spiritual director read this poem to me as our closing prayer this past weekend. We meet once a month for the past two years. I shared with her my post-graduate dream, which resurfaced recently. It’s good whenever these old or new dreams or desires come up, because through discernment God blows away the dust and clouds and shows me what He truly wants in the long run and end.

Two years ago, I was accepted into grad school in California, but opted to take my job at Saulsbury. SI offered me stability, an opportunity in oil and gas and eventually the abilility to live on my own for first time from my parents, and at that time, that’s when I started my spiritual direction. Oil and Gas industry, independence from my parents and spiritual direction in itself are also other dreams I’ve wanted. God has indeed answered these and several other prayers and dreams.

Looking back at the past two years, I’ve grown, healed and changed so much. It’s hard for me to sit still, see it and let God prune me. I always want to do, chase and pursue things. I have a lot of dreams as I’m sure everyone does. I also have responsibilites and commitments as everyone does. In discernment, I’m discovering and seeing where the Holy Spirit is leading me and how He has guided all the areas of my life.

More recently, I applied for grad school at UH, but wasn’t accepted this March 2014. Grad school is a dream I wanted, but remaining open and obedient to God, I see it’s not what He wanted for me at least for now or maybe ever. I’m happy in knowing that because God has something else for me – something I don’t know. It has given me peace and clarity, instead of feeling like a failure as I get older. “A man plans his ways, but the LORD directs his footsteps.”

St. Ignatius’ discernment is what I’m following to discover the LORD’s Will in my life: time, prayer, journaling and reflecting upon interior freedom, joy, fear, anxiety and peace in decision-making.

This poem fits my life and thought I would share it with you, incase it fits yours as well or at any time in the future. It’s very beautiful.

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything

to reach the end without delay.

We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

We are impatient of being on the way to something

unknown, something new.

And yet it is the law of all progress

that it is made by passing through

some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;

your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,

let them shape themselves, without undue haste.

Don’t try to force them on,

as though you could be today what time

(that is to say, grace and circumstances

acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit

gradually forming within you will be.

Give Our Lord the benefit of believing

that his hand is leading you,

and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself

in suspense and incomplete.

- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ

NEVER WAS IT KNOWN!!!!!!!!!!

Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ!

On today the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, may we pray for all the unborn and their families; our brothers and sisters in Christ at the March for Life in D.C. and other cities; those who are on the front line in the fight for our culture of life; and for those who oppose it.

I write with good news and a praise report about a friend’s new job!

BACK STORY:

I don’t know if you know about Fr. Michael Gaitley’s story from the 33 Days to Morning Glory Marian Consecration DVD.

He tells of a time when his roommate and himself debated about going on a Spring Break trip with cute chicks or going on a retreat. They decided to pray a “flying novena,” which is nine Memorares prayed in a row for a sign about which decision to make. They ask Our Lord through the intercession of His Most Holy Mother that if they were to go on the retreat the price be between $60 and $65, and then they pray the “flying novena.” Afterwards, they call their retreat contact and asked for the cost, and the gentlemen said, “$63.”

Their prayer was answered!

From that point on, his roommate spreads the message of the “flying novena,” telling everyone “Never Was It Known!” Even when they lived in Austria as students in the study abroad program that Franciscan University of Steubenville offers, the roommate taped “Never Was It Known” on the kitchen wall using toilet paper. Classic! It definitely was a powerful way of evangelizing and a great conversation starter to say the least! :-)

PRESENT STORY:

Fast forward to the week of January 6, 2014, about three weeks ago. My friend who wishes to remain anonymous expressed a sincere desire for a job that does not require extended travel. For the past two years, she worked with a good company but was exhausted from the long projects that flew her out of state or out of the country.

We decided to pray a “flying novena” for a job that would keep her local and for God’s continual Will in her life. We stated that prayer intention and prayed nine Memorares in a row. The very next day she received an interview request on LinkedIn from a local company. She interviewed the following week (last week). They asked her back for another interview the next week, which was yesterday, and she was offered the job!

She said yes!

She is overwhelmed by God and Our Blessed Mother’s Love for her and how quickly they acted!

May this story inspire your prayer and trust in God and Our Blessed Mother!

I’m praying for each person who may read this! NEVER WAS IT KNOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please never give up on God, because He will never give up on you. :-)

+M JMJ,
Liz

PS. Please gives thanks to God and pray for my friend as she now faces transitioning into this new pearl of a job position.

PPS. I’ve read Blessed Mother Teresa also prayed “flying/express novenas” with her sisters. That she would pray a tenth Memorare out of thanksgiving. And even sometimes they prayed litanies of flying novenas (back-to-back novenas). And they were answered! :-)

PPPS. If you don’t know what the Memorare is, it is this prayer:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.

The Memorare may also be found here under Marian prayers:

You would pray that prayer nine times in a row for a “flying novena.”

Forgiveness Prayer

My roommate shared this with me, and I thought it would be an okay prayer, but I was wrong. It blew me away in a good way! It covers all areas of life’s hurts and is a really long prayer. It can be prayed as a novena.

Forgiveness Prayer
Let us pray…

The following prayer covers most significant areas
of forgiveness. Often, such a prayer will bring to
mind other areas that need forgiveness. Let the Holy
Spirit move freely and guide your mind to persons or
groups that you need to forgive.

Lord Jesus Christ,
I ask today to forgive EVERYONE in my life.
I know that You will give me the strength to
forgive and I thank You that You love me more
than I love myself and want my happiness more than
I desire it for myself. Father, I forgive YOU for
the times death has come into the family, hard times,
financial difficulties, or what I thought were punishments
sent by You and people said, “It’s God’s will,” and I
become bitter and resentful toward You.

Purify my heart and mind today.
Lord, I forgive MYSELF for my sins, faults and failings,
for all that is bad in myself or that I think is bad,
I forgive myself; and I accept Your forgiveness. I further
forgive MYSELF for taking Your name in vain, not worshipping
You by attending church, for hurting my parents, getting drunk,
for sins against purity, bad books, bad movies, fornication,
adultery, homosexuality. Also, for abortion, stealing, lying,
defrauding, hurting peoples’ reputation.
You have forgiven me today, and I forgive myself.

Thank You, Lord,
for your grace at this moment. I also forgive MYSELF
for any delvings in superstition, using ouija boards,
horoscopes, going to séances, using fortune telling or
wearing lucky charms. I reject all that superstition and
choose You alone as my Lord and Savior. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

Lord, I truly forgive my MOTHER.
I forgive her for all the times she hurt me, she resented
me, she was angry with me and for all the times she punished
me. I forgive her for the times she preferred my brothers and
sisters to me. I forgive her for the times she told me I was
dumb, ugly, stupid, the worst of the children or that I cost
the family a lot of money. For the times she told me I was
unwanted, an accident, a mistake or not what she expected, I forgive her.

Lord, I truly forgive my FATHER.
I forgive him for any non-support, any lack of love, affection
or attention. I forgive him for any lack of time, for not giving
me his companionship, for his drinking, arguing and fighting with
my mother or the other children. For his severe punishments, for
desertion, for being away from home, for divorcing my mother or for
any running around, I do forgive him.

Lord, I extend forgiveness
to my SISTERS AND BROTHERS. I forgive those who rejected me,
lied about me, hated me, resented me, competed for my parents’
love, those who hurt me, who physically harmed me. For those
who were too severe on me, punished me or made my life unpleasant
in any way, I do forgive them.

Lord, I forgive my SPOUSE
for lack of love, affection, consideration, support, attention,
communication; for faults, failings, weaknesses and those other
acts or words that hurt or disturb me.

Jesus, I forgive my CHILDREN
for their lack of respect, obedience, love, attention, support,
warmth, understanding; for their bad habits, falling away from the
church, any bad actions which disturb me.

Lord God, I forgive my IN-LAWS,
MY MOTHER-IN-LAW, FATHER-IN-LAW, SON/DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AND
OTHER RELATIVES by marriage, who treat my family with a lack
of love. For all their words, thoughts, actions or omissions
which injure and cause pain, I forgive them.

Please help to forgive my RELATIVES,
my grandmother and grandfather, aunts, uncles, cousins, who
may have interfered in our family, been possessive of my parents,
who may have caused confusion or turned one parent against the other.

Jesus, help me to forgive my CO-WORKERS
who are disagreeable or make life miserable for me. For
those who push their work off on me, gossip about me, won’t
cooperate with me, try to take my job, I do forgive them.

My NEIGHBORS
need to be forgiven, Lord. For all their noise, letting
their property run down, not tying up their dogs who run
through my yard, not taking in their trash barrels, being
prejudiced and running down the neighborhood, I do forgive them.

I do forgive my CLERGYMAN,
my CONGREGATION and my CHURCH for their lack of support,
affirmation, bad sermons, pettiness, lack of friendliness, not
providing me or my family with the inspiration we needed, for
any hurts they have inflicted on me or my family, even in
the distant past, I forgive them today.

Lord, I forgive all
those who are of different PERSUASIONS, those of opposite
political views who have attacked me, ridiculed me, discriminated
against me, made fun of me, economically hurt me.

I forgive those
of different religious DENOMINATIONS AND BELIEFS
who have harassed me, attacked me, argued with me,
forced their view on me or my family.

Those who have harmed me
ETHNICALLY, have discriminated against me, mocked me,
made jokes about my race or nationality, hurt my family
physically, emotionally or economically, I do forgive them today.

Lord, I forgive
all PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE who have hurt me in any way:
doctors, nurses, lawyers, judges, politicians and civil servants.

I forgive all service people:
policemen, firemen, bus drivers, hospital workers and
especially repairmen who have taken advantage of me in their work.

Lord, I forgive my EMPLOYER
for not paying me enough money, for not appreciating my work,
for being unkind and unreasonable with me, for being angry or
unfriendly, for not promoting me, and for not complimenting me on my work.

Lord, I forgive my SCHOOLTEACHERS
AND INSTRUCTORS of the past as well as the present. For those
who punished me, humiliated me, insulted me, treated me unjustly,
made fun of me, called me dumb or stupid, made me stay after
school, I truly forgive them today.

Lord, I forgive my FRIENDS
who have let me down, lost contact with me, do not support me,
were not available when I needed help, borrowed money and did not
return it, gossiped about me.

Lord Jesus,
I especially pray for the grace of forgiveness for the ONE
PERSON in life who has HURT ME THE MOST.

I ask to forgive
anyone who I consider my greatest enemy, the one who is the
hardest to forgive or the one who I said I will never forgive.

Lord,
I beg pardon of all these people for the hurt I have inflicted
on them, especially my mother and father, and my marriage partner.

I am especially sorry
for the three greatest hurts I have inflicted on each of these.

Thank You, Jesus,
that I am being freed of the evil of unforgiveness.
Let Your Holy Spirit fill me with light and
let every dark area of my mind be enlightened.
AMEN.

Forgiveness is an act of the will, not a feeling.
If we pray for a person, we can be assured that we have
forgiven that person. To help accept an individual and
open ourselves to a particular person more, picture
him with the Lord Jesus and say to the Lord,
“I love him because You love him. I forgive him because You forgive him.”

Forgiveness is a life-long obligation.
Daily we need to forgive those who hurt or injure us.

From the book by Father Robert DeGrandis S.S.J. and Betty Tapscott:
Forgiveness & Inner Healing; Twenty-fourth Printing September 2001.
Permission to copy is granted by Father DeGrandis.
(copyright info must remain in tact.)